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Lotus FM Airs Racist Bollywood Song on SABC Airwaves

The controversial Bollywood song ‘Beyonce Sharma Jayegi’ from the Indian movie Khaali Peeli, that sparked global outrage for its racist lyrics, has somehow found its way onto the national broadcaster’s airwaves of Lotus FM.

The song has been making global news headlines for shaming dark-skinned women was played last week Wednesday, 23 September just before the 3 PM news headlines. The controversial song was slammed for racist lyrics read, “Bhadkili nakhrili Chamkili Lachkili. Tu jo kamar ye hilayegi, Oh tujhe dekh ke goriya, Beyonce sharma jayegi.” The translation means,

“When you dance, watching you, oh fair-skinned girl, Beyoncé will be ashamed.”

Khaali Peeli song

The ‘Khaali Peeli’ song has received over 1 million dislikes within a matter of hours after its release for demeaning global pop star Beyoncé with racist undertones. Initially titled ‘Beyonce Sharma Jayegi’ the song title was changed twice as the song makers tried to figure out new lyrics and titles in order to quash the matter. Horrified at the lyrics Bollywood music lovers began apologizing to the American singing sensation on behalf of the song makers and Indians alike.

Indian Spice reached out to Lotus FM station manager Alvin Pillay, who referred the matter to the Acting Programmes Manager Sanjay Jayrajh to confirm the allegation. Jayrajh has admitted that the racist version of the Khaali Peeli song was aired on Lotus FM twice.

Jayrajh also stated that the music label, Zee Music had emailed the station – only after Indian Spice queried the issue – asking that they pull the song ‘Beyonce Sharma Jayegi’ from the Lotus FM music library.

I have just received a mail from the music label requesting that we pull the song from our playlist, as a “new” version is been put out due to the controversy of the name “Beyoncé”. We received the song from the label and it has only been scheduled twice on our shows.

Sanjay Jayrajh, Acting Programmes Manager Lotus FM

The station has refused to share a copy of the correspondence received from the Indian music label Zee Music to confirm Jayrajh’s response. A week later, Acting SABC Spokesperson Mmoni  Seapole responded with an official statement saying,

“The SABC respects the relationships it has with all its stakeholders and as a matter of principle, the Corporation will not at any point publicise its correspondence with stakeholders in the public space. The SABC also acknowledges that the song in question was played twice on Lotus FM and the record label requested that the version played should be pulled off from the playlist as there is a newer version available. The station is yet to receive the new version”.

The Lotus FM bungle comes at a time where South African retail group Clicks was forced to remove hair care brand TRESemmé after an advert sparked massive outrage. Bollywood celebrities have also come under fire recently for promoting skin-whitening creams while standing for Black Lives Matter.

Lotus FM has made headlines in the past for several scandals that have plagued the station, tap here to read more.

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